Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday funnies

Sadly, I've got a collection of material that is suitable for the Daily WTF. I'll share some of them here on Fridays.

This can keep you going for a week - I'm off to Arrowhead Provincial Park next week, or as my two-year-old calls it, "Ro-ho-head".

1) Can I report a case of reserved word abuse?

private object value;

public object Value
{
get { return value; }
set { this.value = value; }
}

2) Does this mean we still need to implement the hack, or that this is the hack?

gsid.ClusterId = "LOCALCLUSTER"; //TODO: Hack

3) Backwards, sounds this.

return 0 == sticky.InnerText.CompareTo(true.ToString());

4) How to validate XML. Or not...

try
{
StringReader stringreader = new StringReader(myString);
XmlValidatingReader xsd = new XmlValidatingReader(new XmlTextReader(stringreader));
xsd.ValidationType = ValidationType.None;

while (xsd.Read())
{
}

xsd.Close();
validXml = true;
}
catch
{
validXml = false;
}

5) Comment of the day.

// Do not update this DataSet unless you know what
// you're doing: DataSets are made of the purest evil.

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Me fail English? That's unpossible!

And to think I was a Theatre major for three years. I used to be able to speak the language. Now I am a programmer.

These words came out of my mouth the other day:

"It should remember the zoomness and the invertitude."

The worst part? I bet you knew what I was saying...

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Do you blog in colour? Or color?

If you're a Canadian software development blogger, let John Bristowe know.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

A looth tooth

My five year old daughter discovered a new tooth coming in last night. It's an adult tooth, and it's just behind one of her baby teeth, on the bottom shelf. Needless to say, she was Very Excited. She was jumping around the house, telling us that this was a sign she was getting older.

This morning, my wife asked her how the new tooth was doing. She answered, "I forgot all about it!" My wife said, "That's another sign you're getting older!"

And today is graduation day - she receives a Kindergarten diploma. Grade One looms in the fall.

And that, my friends, is a sign that I am getting older...

Mystery solved!

As if there isn't enough to worry about in the world today, I've been besotted with alarm at the mystery in our Tales from the dark side.

Turns out it was a... ah, no - you can read all about it from the source. Let's just say I'll never tighten a nut without thinking about this nut.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer curling

Anyone fancy some summer curling?

"How do you do that?" you're asking? Why, in the sand, of course.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Preventing innovation

Ouch. This one stings. Details on each of the points in the article.

The Top Ten Tips for Preventing Innovation

1. Hire employees looking for safety in their roles.
2. Hire incompetent employees.
3. Keep salaries below the 75th percentile.
4. Read The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley of IDEO.
5. Treat employees like garbage.
6. Reward conservative and marginal successes.
7. Micromanage.
8. Only create customer-requested features.
9. Make performance reviews easy.
10. Build a kingdom.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Quote of the day

I usually don't like much of what Joel has to say on Software, but he hits the nail on the head in today's quote of the day.

Watching non-programmers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn't know how to surf trying to surf.


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Friday, June 16, 2006

Why Vista has slipped

Great post from Philip SU about the slippage going on in the Microsoft Vista development.

There are some interesting, if meaningless, stats in here. The average US software developer writes 6200 lines of code in a year. In 1999, the same developer wrote 9000 lines of code. The 2000 developers working on Vista averaged 1000 lines of code over its development lifetime. I don't know what the numbers are like here at SuperMegaCorp, but I suspect it's way way more than that. Our product is nowhere near the size of Vista, but we suffer some of the same pains that the Microsoft development group is suffering.

The Vista delay is not just due to complex software and layers of process. To be fair, when you've got 2000 developers you need some process. One of the bigger problems is estimation. Development estimates on Vista get pushed back until they fit the plan, or are just ignored. "Every once in a while, Truth still pipes up in meetings. When this happens, more often than not, Truth is simply bent over an authoritative knee and soundly spanked into silence."

Does anyone really believe this will work? I haven't read that article in the Harvard Business Review, but the "Head in the Sand" theory of software project management doesn't strike me as a sound one. I suppose the idea is that if every level keeps lying about the feasibility of a ship date, it's only the top level that will get the axe when the date is blown by months. Although, sometimes that doesn't even happen, when it obviously should. The finger of blame conveniently gets pointed elsewhere instead.

I can remember a conversation that went something like this:

PM: When can you get this done?
Dev: 18 months.
PM: Ack! How about 6 months?
Dev: *Cough* *Splutter* Maybe 12 months.
PM: Let's schedule it for 9 months.
Dev: Whatever...

Guess what? It was delivered 18 months later, buggy as all-get-out. Despite the legions of well-meaning developers who were thrown into the project, since as everyone knows, the more developers you throw at a sinking ship the faster it gets done.

But hey, I'm just a developer, and the Harvard Business Review doesn't say you should trust your developers. If they were any good, they'd be in management, right?

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Keep curling on TSN? You bet!

Good news curling fans!

The Canadian Curling Association has hammered out a new six-year deal with TSN for exclusive broadcast rights to top-flight curling events, shutting out the CBC, starting in 2008. TSN will carry the whole event, not just the round robin, and they're bringing back coverage of the morning draws.

This is all over the news.

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Arrogance update

Just a quick note to say that the arrogance-meter is shifting, and not in the right direction.

As we've said, the more things change...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A mood ring for the next generation

Dutch researchers have unveiled a program which they claim can trace and explain significant changes in mood patterns on the Internet.

Toady's mood: intrigued.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Good news and bad news

The good news is that beer may prevent prostate cancer!

The bad news? You have to drink more than 17 beers a day to benefit. I guess it's not all bad. I mean, I'm hovering around a dozen right now, what's another five?

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fuck me running!

It now costs $325,000 to drop an F-Bomb on TV in the USA. Those guys would shit their pants if they watched The Sopranos uncut on CTV here in Canada.

Gay marriage, pot, swearing and nudity on TV. Who says there's no real border between us?

The Internet's favourite colour

Based on Flickr images, what would you suppose the Internet's favourite colour is?

My guess would be "Flesh".

How to Write a Killer Resume

Gretchen, over at the JobSyntax blog, points us to these handy tips:

How to Write a Killer Resume (for Software Engineers)

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Awenda Provincial Park


Just back from a four day trip to Awenda Provincial Park. Really nice park, with lots of great biking trails. Plenty of wildlife - deer and chipmunks especially. Highly recommended. Just bring the Deep Woods Off, as the mosquitos own the park this time of year.

The girls loved searching the woods for chipmunks, and we came home with a bucket of shells, stones and acorns. What's the minimum time to keep stuff the kids bring home? If I toss it today, they'll surely go looking for their bucket of acorns tomorrow.

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THAT was the end of the world?

Well, 666 turned out to be a bust. I guess it really is bad luck to be superstitious.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's the end of the world as we know it

And so far, I feel fine.

Today is supposed to be the end of the world. I didn't see a single "Repent! The end is nigh!" sign on my way in to work this morning.

I mentioned this whole 666 thing to my wife, and she said, "If the world is ending today, there's no way I'm going in to work. I'd better finish my Purdy's Chocolates too!"

Good advice. What the hell am I doing here?

Bumper sticker of the day

Saw this bumper sticker on a seriously off-road equipped Jeep this morning:

If You Think This Is Dirty You Should See My Ex!

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Monday, June 05, 2006